April 14th 2020
COVID-19 Update #4
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your patience and grace over the last 3 weeks. We couldn’t have predicted, planned for, or imagined this. I know it’s causing you tremendous stress. We thought it was time for another update on Public Outreach and where we are at.
Here’s what we are working on:
Calling From Home
We have worked extremely hard to ensure we have work available for as many people as possible. We have identified a call from home solution, deployed tech, secured client contracts, and are still working to ensure we can offer work to more people.
We now have 96 people deployed to call from home, a tremendous achievement from 0 just a few weeks ago. Our clients have reached out and are counting on us to help them close the gap in their fundraising. A huge thank you to our I.T. team, Laura Copping, Ryan Clayton, Liam Epps and our other leaders for making this happen!
The federal government has put significant resources into keeping businesses open and people working during COVID-19. Our goal is to avoid permanent layoffs and rehire people as soon as possible. There are two key programs that will benefit our employees and the company.
CERB – Canadian Emergency Response Benefit
The CERB replaces EI right now for people who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. There is key wording defining who is eligible for the CERB:
Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
If you are called back from layoff by PO and decide you do not want to work from home, this is defined by our government as voluntarily quitting your job and eliminates your eligibility from the CERB program*. Public Outreach is obligated to reissue your ROE and report this change to the federal government. You will not be eligible for CERB and may be required to repay funds you received.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The Canada Emergency Wage subsidy is being designed to help employers keep and return employees to their payroll. The first period that this is eligible for is March 15-April 11 and the legislation is drafted and distributed amongst political parties. There will be no responsibility on the part of employees to file documents or hours. Our Finance team will be pursuing this provided we are eligible.
Like you, I’m watching the news daily and waiting for updates on when our “new normal” will start and we can leave our homes. The future structure, scale and dates for re-starting our door, mall and street fundraising programs are unknown. We are gauging things week by week and taking everything one step at a time. We will be looking to our senior health officials for the go ahead.
These are trying times. Social isolation is taking its toll on so many of us. This weekend, if you have the energy, please check in by phone or text on those you love, those who may be lonely. Make a list of loving things you can do for yourself: constructive, unconstructive, playful, sedate. Pursue your hobbies or binge. But most of all, take care of yourself and each other. We’re looking forward to seeing you in the flesh (!) on the other side.
Thank you for your patience and please let us know if you have any questions or need any help.
Allana, Kate and John
*Please note that Public Outreach does understand that not every remote deployment will be successful (technical reasons, environmental reasons, health reasons). Issues out of your control that STOP you from working are not considered a resignation.